Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Mumbai Held Hostage

New York, London, Madrid and, now, to the list of great cosmopolitan cities tortured in the name of religion over the past decade, add Mumbai. For three days, India's financial center and movie capital, a metropolis of 12 million, was held hostage by what officials insist was a band of 10 armed men — a figure Mumbaikars found impossible to believe. The poshest hotels and some of the most prominent watering holes for tourists and the rich became charnel houses in massacres that threatened to undermine India's astonishing economic growth. Local politicians and security officials pointed fingers at neighbor and nemesis Pakistan, being inclined to overlook the fact that assaults on Indian cities earlier in the year may have been perpetrated by members of India's own huge, much put-upon Muslim minority. (Nov. 26-29)